Making a Podcast on the Cheap: The Social Network

Never thought producing a podcast would be so difficult, huh? Well, you’ve reached the final step in that process. Well, at least, for the first episode. This part you will have to do on a weekly basis for the podcast. Making a podcast on the cheap is tough to get started. However, it becomes grueling when you have to do it on a weekly, or bi-weekly, basis.

Here are some of the things you should be doing after you have uploaded your podcast. Just unleashing it upon the world isn’t enough.

Social Media

You will need it. Now, there is some dispute as to whether you should create a “page” on Facebook. Regardless of what you think of it, many of your listeners are still using it. Unfortunately, you need a personal account on Facebook to create a page for your podcast. Many of the options on there won’t apply to you, because you’re not a business. However, it should direct people to your podcast’s blog.

Twitter is a bit better for a lot of people. Get into the habit of putting hash tags on your posts. If anyone clicks on hashtags that are trending, your post would appear. Instagram is definitely one to have. Yes, we know it has pictures but it does videos.

I recommend using a free service called Headliner. It will allow you to make small audio clips from your show and post them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can post them in your feed or make them a story. It displays your artwork and up to a minute of a clip. Good way for people to hear a tease of the show.

YouTube is a hit or miss thing. We upload a commercial free version of our shows onto our YouTube channel. It isn’t necessary, especially if it’s only audio. We do get some views on it, but it really isn’t worth your time if you aren’t doing anything else on the channel. Plus, if you curse, monetization would be a problem. It’s probably more hassle than it’s worth, but do it if you want.

You can just put the audio into the video editor and display your artwork. I put text for our various social media and what platforms we are available on. Also, if you choose this, there is a free video editor to use, Hitflix. The free version is all you need and works really well.

Post updates to your blog.

Always put your new episodes into a blog post on your site. Again, blogs will give your listeners (or fans) a place to get everything they need to know about you. You could even put a player on your blog, where they can listen. Blog posts can be about the main topic of your show. A rundown of the show. But, it should include the shownotes that you put in when you uploaded the episode.

Depending on your host, maybe you have too much additional information. All of that won’t fit on the podcast shownotes. Direct them to the blog, where you have unlimited space. I use that when releasing episodes of The Fine Line. My resources are quite extensive, so I direct them to the blog if they’re curious.

Share. Then Share. Share Some More.

Promote your show wherever you can. Sometimes forums, especially if it pertains to the topic. The podcast community on Twitter and Facebook are pretty supportive. Many will have favor programs. Listen and review their show, they’ll do the same for you.

Recommend your listeners to review the show on iTunes (or Apple Podcasts). The more interaction, the more likely people will give your show a shot. If it takes off, you could end up on their new and notable list. Unfortunately, unless you have a major backer behind it, you won’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. Just take a look on the list. You’ll see shows from Parcast, Wondery, and NPR dominate the list. Podcast on the cheap don’t usually make it on there.

Also, if someone is interested in doing interviews, do it. Make some waves and get your show out there. Shows that go viral don’t happen overnight. Many shows that go viral takes a year or so to get off the ground. Unless you have a celebrity behind it.

Consider receiving donations.

You can ask for donations. The only reason for this is to either (one) make the show self-sufficient, or (two) recoup the money invested. Suddenly, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll need to come up with that three-year hosting renewal cash. If you get a decent response, you may consider a Patreon.

Patreon is a platform where people can donate, and they will receive extra content for their donation. Many podcasts will offer a second show a week for $5 a month. Or a commercial free version of the show. Maybe even an advance episode, while free listeners have to wait for a new episode. If you have an interview episode, they could receive the full version of the interview or an after-party episode.

Some may think $5 a month isn’t a lot. But you have 100 listeners donating? That’s $500 a month. It all adds up. Especially if you get advertisers. That makes some people more inclined to get that ad-free version. Not bad for making a podcast on the cheap.

To summarize making a podcast on the cheap…

Making a podcast on the cheap takes a bit of work. However, if you do it right, you can have a decent return on your investment. Have reasonable expectations for your podcast. You won’t get rich by doing one. Not everyone can be a Joe Rogan. Set modest goals for yourself and the show.

First and foremost, the show must be something that is fun. It’s a passion. It should be fun and if it becomes self-sufficient, that’s a plus. Get your investment back and maybe even expand the show – awesome. Usually, the ultimate goal is to do it full time and it pays the bills. If it gets bigger than that, congratulations.

Yes, get that idea down. Grab a domain and hosting for your blog and podcast. Some decent equipment and you’re off to the races. We want to see you guys celebrating your 400th episode. Not the one that ended after 4 shows because their idea wasn’t broad enough. Good luck and get that show out there.